OK guys, pity party is over. Time to move on. Thank you all for your lovely comments (and to KGLO from the Rainy Daisy blog: thank you for all your kind comments -- I'm sorry I don't have an email address to respond to!). Things could always be worse, of course, so it helps to keep things in perspective.
You know what else helps? Working out. I've gotten into a better routine this year and I like that. I ran out to the store the other day because I had a gift card and I got this game for the Wii for only $10. Score! I have only used it once so far and I liked it, but I will give a more thorough review in the future after I've been using it for a while (if I remember...).
Speaking of reviews, I believe I promised a review of my new yarn swift! If you recall, my old swift was a homemade contraption that was falling apart and made winding yarn quite difficult. I did enough sample knitting that I was able to invest in this new swift from Crazy Monkey Creations. I really didn't want an umbrella swift that would need to be clamped to a table, and this was the best alternative I could find.
The website says to allow one to two weeks for production, and another 3-5 days for shipping but I got mine in about a week, if I remember correctly. I was very happy with that. Even though the swift came flat-packed in pieces, they include a very detailed photographic manual to help you put it together (but really, you probably don't need it). All the pieces are well-crafted and solid, and the whole thing smells like new wood--love that!
Now, because the whole thing is very sturdy, it is also a little heavy. I don't mind that, but it does make it a little difficult to haul around when I need to use it. To help solve this problem, I went to the hardware store and picked up a simple pull handle for a couple bucks and screwed it into the back of the swift. Now I can pick it up without grabbing the arms, which probably isn't the best thing to do with those fragile pieces.
The whole thing rotates very smoothly and evenly. I was a little nervous that the heaviness of the arms would cause the rotation to slow down, but it really doesn't. The one thing you have to be aware of is to make sure that the yarn-holding hooks are evenly placed on the arms. Because each one is adjusted individually, it can be a little tricky, but if one of them is way off it can affect the tension on the yarn as it spins. Thankfully, the hooks are very easy to move and there are guidelines etched into the wood to help you space them correctly.
Overall, I am extremely happy with this swift. It is a simple yet effective piece of hardware, and I really can't picture having any problems with it. There aren't any small pieces to break, there are no fussy strings to keep track of (as there sometimes are in umbrella swifts), and the only movable piece is a giant screw and that's not going anywhere. This swift gets a definite two thumbs up from me!